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SENATE DOCKET, NO.                 FILED ON: 7/9/2013

SENATE  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  No. 1816

 


The Commonwealth of Massachusetts
 

_______________

In the Year Two Thousand Thirteen

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An Act certifying alcohol and drug free housing.
 

              Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives in General Court assembled, and by the authority of the same, as follows:
 

              SECTION 1. Section 18 of chapter 17 of the general laws is hereby amended by striking out subsection (b) as appearing in the 2010 Official Edition and inserting in place thereof the following subsection: - (b) the bureau shall establish and advertise a free, anonymous and confidential toll-free telephone helpline that provides comprehensive, accurate and current information and referrals related to addiction treatment, prevention services, alcohol and drug free housing, and certified alcohol and drug free housing as defined under section 18A of chapter 17 the General Laws. The administration of the helpline shall be coordinated with other departments and agencies to prevent the duplication of similar services. The operation of the helpline may be contracted to third parties; provided however, that any such contracts shall be performance-based and subject to the approval of the commissioner.

              SECTION 2. Chapter 17 of the general laws is hereby amended by inserting after section 18 the following section: -

              Section 18A. (a) As used in this section, the following words shall have the following meanings:

              “Alcohol and drug free housing”, a residence, commonly known as a sober home, that provides a substance-free environment for people in the commonwealth who are recovering from substance abuse, but which does not provide treatment as a licensed halfway house, treatment unit, or detoxification facility under sections 6 and 7 inclusive of chapter 111E or any other facility licensed under section 7 of chapter 111E.

              “Bureau,” the bureau of substance abuse services established in section 18 of this chapter.

              “Certified alcohol and drug free housing”, alcohol and drug free housing certified by the bureau.

              “Director,” the director of the bureau of substance abuse services.

              (b) the bureau shall establish and administer, or provide for the administration of, a voluntary training and accreditation program for owners of alcohol and drug free housing seeking certification under subsection (e)

              (c) the bureau, upon the request of any individual or entity owning or operating alcohol and drug free housing, shall certify alcohol and drug free housing under subsection (e)

              (d) an individual or entity seeking an alcohol and drug free housing certification shall file with the bureau an application which shall include the following:

                            (1) proof of satisfactory completion of the voluntary training program under subsection (b) within 5 years of the date of application, and proof of accreditation by a nationally recognized accreditation body as determined by the bureau;

                            (2) a deed, trust documents, articles of incorporation, leases or other documents acceptable to the director evidencing that the individual or entity seeking certification is the lawful owner or lessee of the parcel of real estate where the housing is or is planned to be located;

                            (3) a certificate under section 23 of chapter 60 of the general laws proving that there are no taxes or other assessments which at the time constitute liens on the parcel of real estate upon which the housing is or is planned to be located;

                            (4) a list certified by the police department of the municipality where the housing is or is planned to be located showing the total number and nature of police calls to the address of the housing for the year preceding the date of application;

                            (5) written proof of satisfactory building, fire and sanitary code inspections under chapter 143 and chapter 148 conducted within 45 days of the filing of the application;

                            (6) photographs, certified by the applicant to have been taken within 45 days of the filing of the application, showing the exterior of the building from all sides, and showing each room to be used for alcohol and drug free housing, including kitchens and bathrooms;

                            (7) a rendering of the floor plan of the building depicting the approximate dimensions of each room to be used for alcohol and drug free housing, and certification of the maximum number of occupants proposed to reside in each room;

                            (8) certification of the amount of rent and the frequency of rent to be paid by occupants for the 12 months following certification of the housing by the director;

                            (9) a certificate of good standing or tax compliance issued by the department of revenue within 45 days of the filing of the application for any individual filing the application, or for each principal officer of any entity filing the application; and,

                            (10) a signed criminal offender record information acknowledgement form for any individual filing the application or, if the application is filed on behalf of multiple individuals comprising an entity of any sort, for each principal officer of the entity applying for certification;

              (e) the bureau shall review applications for completeness and in its discretion certify the housing for one year from the date of certification as certified alcohol and drug free housing; however, the bureau shall not certify any alcohol and drug free housing if any individual applicant or any one of the principal officers of an entity filing an application has been convicted of a felony within 5 years of the date of application

              (f) the bureau shall prepare, publish and disseminate a list of alcohol and drug free housing certified under paragraph (e), updating the list each time an application or action results in a change in certification status, but in no case less than once per month. The list shall be disseminated and be made readily available to the director of the division of drug rehabilitation under chapter 111E, and to all state agencies and their state-contracted vendors. The commissioner of probation shall inform all district and superior court probation officers, and the chief justice of the trial court shall inform all district and superior court judges within the commonwealth of how to access the list

              (g) the bureau shall create a process for soliciting and receiving complaints against certified alcohol and drug free housing and determining whether the housing shall remain on or be removed from the list prepared, published, disseminated and updated under paragraph (f)

              (h) the bureau may prescribe and publish, pursuant to chapter 30A, rules and regulations necessary to carry out this section, which may include a schedule of application and recertification fees

              (i) no state agency or state-contracted vendor that is providing treatment or services to a person, and no state agency or officer setting terms and conditions for the release, parole, or discharge of a person from custody or treatment, may refer that person or otherwise include in said terms and conditions a referral to alcohol and drug free housing that is not certified under this section, and any terms and conditions that include residence in alcohol and drug free housing shall not be deemed satisfied except by residence in alcohol and drug free housing that is certified under this section.

              SECTION 3. Section 19 of chapter 17 of the general laws, as appearing in the 2010 Official Edition, is hereby amended by adding at the end of the section the following: -No discharge plan may include a referral or recommendation to alcohol and drug free housing that is not certified under section 18A.

              SECTION 4: Section 7 of chapter 111B of the general laws, as appearing in the 2010 Official Edition, is hereby amended by inserting after the word “treatment” in line 41 the words: -, but no patient shall be referred to alcohol and drug free housing that is not certified under section 18A of chapter 17 of the general laws

              SECTION 5. Section 12 of chapter 111E of the general laws, as appearing in the 2010 Official Edition, is hereby amended in line 13 after the word “commonwealth” by inserting the following words: - If the court imposes as a condition of probation that the defendant reside in alcohol and drug free housing, that condition shall be deemed satisfied only if the defendant resides in alcohol and drug free housing certified under section 18A chapter 17 of the General Laws.

              SECTION 6. Section 20B of chapter 127 of the general laws, as appearing in the 2010 Official Edition, is hereby amended by inserting after the word program in line 11 the following: -, provided that such place of confinement may not include alcohol and drug free housing that is not certified under section 18A of chapter 17 of the General Laws,

              SECTION 7. Section 130 of chapter 127 of the general laws, as amended by chapter 192 of the acts of 2012, is hereby amended by adding after the last sentence the following: -If the terms and conditions prescribed by the board include residence in alcohol and drug free housing, said terms and conditions shall be deemed satisfied only by residence in alcohol and drug free housing that is certified under section 18A of chapter 17 of the General Laws.

              SECTION 8. Section 133B of chapter 127 of the general laws, as amended by chapter 192 of the acts of 2012, is hereby amended by inserting after the words “at any time.” in the first paragraph the following: -If the terms and conditions prescribed by the board include residence in alcohol and drug free housing, said terms and conditions shall be deemed satisfied only by residence in alcohol and drug free housing that is certified under section 18A of chapter 17 of the General Laws.

              SECTION 9. Section 133D of chapter 127 of the general laws, as appearing in the 2010 Official Edition, is hereby amended by inserting at the end of the second paragraph, in line 11, the following: -If the terms and conditions imposed by the board include residence in alcohol and drug free housing, said terms and conditions shall be deemed satisfied only by residence in alcohol and drug free housing that is certified under section 18A of chapter 17 of the General Laws.

              SECTION 10. Section 87A of chapter 276 of the general laws, as appearing in the 2010 Official Edition, is hereby amended by inserting after the first sentence the following sentence: - If the court imposes as a condition of probation that the defendant reside in alcohol and drug free housing, that condition shall be deemed satisfied only if the defendant resides in alcohol and drug free housing certified under section 18A chapter 17 of the General Laws.

              SECTION 11. The provisions of this act are severable. Should any section of this act, or regulations promulgated pursuant to this act, be declared invalid in a court of competent jurisdiction, the remaining provisions and regulations shall remain unaffected.

              SECTION 12. Subsection (i) of Section 2, and Sections 4 through 10 inclusive, of this act shall take effect two years after enactment.

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